Here are a few suggestions when choosing an Urn.
1. CONSIDER THE FINAL RESTING PLACE
Families may want to think about the final resting place of a loved one's cremation urn before looking at urn styles. Will you scatter the ashes, bury the urn, or place it at home / in a niche?
If you plan to have a permanent memorial in a cemetery -- in other words -- bury the urn, then you have a wide selection of cremation urns. Almost any urn can be placed in an urn vault and then buried. You may wish to check out cultured marble urns as they are especially popular for ground burial.
2. NARROW DOWN THE CHOICES BY URN STYLE OR MATERIAL
Urns are made of materials from brass to wood to marble. Most people choose the a cremation urn based on a “look” they like -- the traditional look of a brass urn, the warmth of a wood box, or the stately look of genuine marble.
If you are looking for a unique or artistic statement piece, check out our glass, ceramic, or raku urns. Choose marble or cultured marble if permanence is most important to you. Cultured marble is ideal for burial as it can be permanently marked with the person's info via engraving, and these urns often can be buried without the added expense of an urn vault. (Be sure to check with your cemetery first though).
Within the last twenty years, the selection of urns has expanded so that you have a wide range of styles from multicolored glass urns to aluminum urns dipped in popular camo patterns.
Traveling on a plane? Choose an urn of material that can be x-rayed (wood, paper, cultured marble).
4. 4. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Small details that remind you of your loved one can bring comfort. Many urns can be personalized with engraving of a name and even artwork.
Personalization can be done in one of two ways: direct engraving on the urn or engraving of an urn pendant or plate. With direct engraving, the urn is placed in an engraving machine, and the words and symbols are cut directly in the material of the urn. With an urn pendant, the engraving is done on a pendant that is draped around the neck of the urn from a ribbon. Brass plates are ideal for square or rectangular urns and are affixed to the urn after being engraved.
There are other ways to express individuality. You might choose an urn in his or her favorite color. You may choose an urn that can include a photo. Finally, the urn itself may have a theme such as lighthouses, motorcycles, or flowers.
Below are some samples of Urns and other Keepsakes available.
If you decide on a traditional burial for you or your loved one, the next important decision that you will need to make is determining the type of casket.
Caskets are generally made of wood or metal. The following are materials commonly used in their construction.
High-cost materials: Mahogany, Walnut, and Cherry
Medium-cost materials: Oak, Birch, and Maple
Low-cost materials: Pine, Poplar, and Willow
Standard Steel: Least expensive type of metal casket available. Available in 20-gauge, 18-gauge, and 16-gauge. The term “gauge” refers to the thickness of the metal. The lower the gauge, the thicker the material.
Stainless Steel: More durable than standard steel and a little more expensive. Available in the same gauges as standard steel.
Copper and Bronze: Have rust-resistant properties that steel lacks. While they do not technically rust, they will eventually oxidize and break down in a manner similar to rusting. Durable, high quality metals, but far more expensive than steel. Unlike steel caskets, they are measured by weight instead of gauge.
2. Alternative Containers, Cremation Caskets, and Rental Caskets
If you opt for cremation, you will probably still want to decide on a casket or container to use. A cremation casket is a wooden casket that may be cremated with the body after the service. An alternative container, generally made of wood, cardboard, or fiberboard. If you want a ceremonial casket at the funeral, we offer a rental casket for the service. Rental caskets are crafted to include an insert for the cremation container, so the cremation casket is placed inside the ceremonial casket for the service. After the service, the cremation container is removed for cremation, offering the best of both worlds.
(You may have heard people refer to certain metal caskets as “gasketed.” A gasketed casket, also known as a protective casket, is sealed with a rubber gasket to keep the elements from entering the casket. While this seal will protect the casket for a long time, it will not preserve it indefinitely. It simply delays the natural process of decomposition.)
3. Burial Vaults and Grave liners
Grave liners and burial vaults are outer burial containers that play an important structural role in maintaining the level of the ground in a cemetery. Over time, caskets deteriorate, weighed down by six feet of earth and the heavy machinery used to dig graves. When this happens, the ground sinks, leaving an uneven landscape in the cemetery. To avoid this, caskets are usually placed in solid structures that can bear the weight of the earth, helping to maintain the structure of the cemetery grounds. The grave liner or burial vault holds the casket solely for this purpose. Most cemeteries require the use of a burial vault or grave liner. However, green cemeteries and nature preserves generally do not.